Tag Archives: God loves you

SILLY GAMES, GOD and MY EGO.070815

Father playing chess with sonNowadays, if you want to spend time with your kids, many dads play video games.  It’s fun, even if the kids beat you.  Not so long ago, before the days of I-phones, on a rainy or snowy day, dads and kids would play table games.  Checkers, chess, cards, spoons, dominoes, maybe even Monopoly.  We used to play Scrabble.  In good weather, when it wasn’t too hot or cold, we’d get outside and play horseshoes, or a pick-up game of baseball or touch football. Oh, and ping-pong.  We used to stand in the garage and play ping-pong til the wee hours. All fun, light-hearted entertainment.  I don’t know about you, but some of the best times of my life, both as a kid and as a dad, were spent playing silly games with my dad or my kids.

Two observations: 1 The games weren’t just silly, often they were serious; and 2 There was a lot more going on there than fun, light-hearted entertainment. Continue reading

REAL FAITH.060515

In Mark 7:26-30: it says,  “The woman was a Greek, [a non-Jew from Phoenicia in Syria] and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” Christ preaching on shores of Lake Galilee. Stained glass. And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”  Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”  And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.”

So Jesus says, “It’s just not right to take the blessings that belong to the Jews and indiscriminately throw them to the outsiders.”  And the woman, being a non-Jew, is referred to as a dog, to her face.  It’s almost as if Jesus is trying to rile her; to see if she’s serious about getting the blessing she seeks.  She must be serious; ‘cause she completely ignores the personal attack and says, in effect, “I don’t care what you say about me; I just want you to help my daughter.”  (She knows that her pride and her ego don’t matter, when her daughter’s life is at stake.)

To me that’s the message of this story: When we have enough faith in Jesus, we too will let nothing (even our selfish pride) stand in the way of our trusting Him.  When we do that, He will help us; and He will get a kick out of our faith and our spunk, just as He did with this woman.

OBSTACLES TO GOD’S GRACE: 051115:

FARMER WITH CORN.051115‘Obstacles’ is the next to the last talk on the Kairos Weekend Program in the prisons.  “We’ve been talking all weekend about God’s plan for our lives.  Let me tell you what His plan is for us; to surrender ourselves to Him.  To do whatever He wants us to on a minute by minute basis.  To accept the gift of His grace and share it with others.  Pretty simple; but it’s not easy.

What is Grace?  It is unmerited favor.  That means God being nice to us when we didn’t deserve it.  Grace is a lot like mercy, Mercy is God being nice to us when we deserved to be punished. Continue reading

Works of Righteousness. 041215

Ephesians 2.8In Ephesians 2:8-9: Paul says,“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

And in his letter to Titus, in chapter 3, verse 5, Paul says again,  “ .  .  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”   Did you get that?  It is not by any works, not by any deeds we have done, or by any special actions we have taken, that God saves us.  Particularly not by “works of righteousness”, meaning good things we’ve done to make God like us. 

Continue reading

THE PRESENT.041115

Young woman happy smile hold gift box in hands,standing over grey backgroundIn 1 Thessalonians 5;16-18, Paul says, “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in all things give  thanks, for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you!”

In Romans 8:28, Paul says, “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are ‘the called’ according to His purpose.”

Someone said (I don’t know who), “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is all we have, it is God’s gift to us, that is the reason we call it THE PRESENT!

Peace and Grace from God to you! Tex

 

God Is Your Life. 040915

Male hands with babyDeuteronomy 30:19-20:  “ . . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”  This passage is part of the renewal of the covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel at Mount Horeb.  This comes at the end of Moses life, part of his Departing Address to the people, just before the Song of Moses that is recorded in Deut. 32. Continue reading

CORRECTION AND DISCIPLINE. 040615

Warning SignHebrews 12:5-8 says, “My son .  .  .  and do not lose heart when He scolds you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he [corrects] everyone he accepts as his son.” .  .  .  If you are not disciplined—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” NIV

My son Ian, 16, just got his ‘real’ driver’s license, and an ’88 Ford pickup.  Along with the license and the truck he got a few hard fast rules to live by.  FIRST RULE “keep your parents informed.”        Second rule: Don’t drive near the HEB, the primary shopping area by our house. It’s dangerous: traffic accidents, teenage drivers and others not paying attention; cell-phones, texting and other distractions.  Not a place for an inexperienced driver.

The other night, after supper, he says, “I’m going to go drive around just for fun.”  He said he’d drive in the neighboring subdivision and be back in 25 minutes . We agreed.  In 25 minutes he called.  He said, “I’m down here across from the HEB and the truck won’t run.”  When I arrived, I asked him about gas. Turns out he bought a little gas ($2.50 worth) 3 days ago.  No wonder he ran out. Continue reading

WHAT’S THE KEY? 022615

Puzzles and keysPhilippians 4: 6-7:  Tex’s paraphrase: “Don’t worry about anything, but with an attitude of gratitude, tell God what you need, and leave it in His hands.  Then His peace, the peace that gives you comfort and rest, the peace that passes all understanding, will guard and protect your hearts and your thoughts through Christ Jesus.”

“Don’t worry about anything.”  In Matthew 6:34, KJV Jesus says, “Take no thought for the morrow.”  Liberally translated that’d be “Don’t worry”, but Tex’s paraphrase would be “Don’t even think about tomorrow AT ALL.”   That’s what Phil 4:6-7, starts out saying as well, “Don’t worry about anything, don’t even think about it.”  God wants us to turn all our problems over to Him, not even think about them anymore, just let Him take care of them. Continue reading

GOD’S VALENTINE.021415

“God loved (loves) the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes (trusts) in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will[e] believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one,  .  .  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”  John 17:20, 23

To them [His saints] God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

Happy Valentine’s Day!

GOD HAS A PLAN. 011215

In Philippians 4:6-8: Paul writes:  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Tex’s version of this passage goes like this: “Don’t worry about anything, but thanking God for what you have, pray and ask for what you need; and the peace of God, that passes all understanding, will protect your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters,  whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is anything virtuous, if there is anything worthy of praise, meditate on these things.”

This morning I had a flash of light about this very passage.  This is the ‘good-bye portion’ of Paul’s letter to the Saints at Philippi.  This is what I’d call his ‘closing instructions’.

He says, “Don’t worry, be happy, be thankful, when you need something, ask for it.  Turn all your troubles over to God.  When you do this, the peace of God, peace that passes understanding, will keep your hearts and minds from fear, and worry, and depression.”  So my flash of light was this. “What happens when you do what this passage says, and you’re still afraid, still worried, still depressed?”

Then you do what the very next verse says, “Quit thinking about that stupid stuff you’re worried about.  (God is taking care of it.  He can and will take care of it a lot better than you or I can anyway.) What’s more, as an act of your will, you just need to focus your mind and your heart on something good.  Find something good to think about.  Like sunshine; or rain on your flowers and your crops; or how great it is when you kid comes up, out of the blue, and says she loves you; or about the good book you just read, or the song you heard on the radio; or how thankful you are that you made it home without running out of gas when you were almost out; or how you finally shook that bad headache you’d had for three days.”  Focus on these things; fill your heart and mind with these and other good things.

My Momma used to say you just have to make up your mind to think about something good.  And when the devil comes up and says “You don’t really believe that stuff, do you?”

You say, “Yep, I’m trusting God and I know He’s taking care of me, so I’ve just made up my mind to think about something good!”

So God really does provide for all of our needs by His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Even when the primary plan falls short, God has a backup plan.  Between being thankful for our blessings and thinking about something good, we really can enjoy the pleasure of the Presence of God, right here, right now.